At 7 a.m. Friday, Galt Police Department employees gathered to officially kick off the annual Special Olympics torch run.
The torch, also known as the Flame of Hope, was originally lit even earlier by Galt Police Chief William Bowen from the Eternal Flame at East Lawn Memorial in Sacramento, where Galt’s fallen Officer Kevin Tonn is buried. It was Tonn’s dream to have the torch run through Galt, according to co-workers.
Galt K9 Officer Dan Carter then drove the torch to Galt for the start of the run. It was ferried by foot to the Elk Grove Police Department and then onto the Sacramento Capitol by law enforcement agencies who took turns holding the torch.
It was 73 degrees when the joggers left Galt. By the time they reached the State Capitol before 10 a.m., the temperature was already close to 90 degrees, one TV station reported.
The Special Olympics Summer Games run through the weekend.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when a Wichita, Kan., police chief saw a need to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of the torch run as a way to involve local law enforcement with their communities with Special Olympics.
This year’s Northern California run started June 17 in Fresno.